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Turning electrons into atoms, and vapors into crystals


Conventionally, twin-photon generation is an optical effect observed in crystalline solids, whereas optical trapping is an effect observed in atomic vapors. In the first part of my talk, I will describe how collective quantum effects that occur at high optical depth allow an atomic vapor to emit correlated photon pairs at extremely high rates relative to nonlinear crystals. For the second part of my talk, I will discuss the possibility to generate optical potentials for individual carrier electrons in a charged quantum well by driving the system with laser light tuned close to the trion resonance.  With this technique, one could realize a new class of artificial nano-structures that are spin-selective, deep relative to KT, and reconfigurable in real time.